SingHealth staff raise more than $1.1m for President’s Challenge

A cheque for the amount was presented by SingHealth group chief executive Ivy Ng to President Halimah Yacob. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Between August and September, about 500 SingHealth employees trekked and cycled across different parts of the island, covering almost 3,000km, to raise funds for this year’s President’s Challenge.

SingHealth raised a total of $1,128,228 through these and other activities, such as a pledge card donation drive, a virtual trivia competition, bazaars and car washes, between May and October this year.

More than 33,000 SingHealth employees – including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals – took part in the fund-raising activities for the challenge this year.

A cheque for the amount was presented by SingHealth group chief executive Ivy Ng to President Halimah Yacob, who was accompanied by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam, at an event on Saturday at SingHealth Tower on the Singapore General Hospital campus.

The money raised will go to five agencies adopted by the President’s Challenge this year – social service agency Montfort Care, Filos Community Services, St Luke’s ElderCare, the Singapore Hospice Council and the Singapore Association for Mental Health.

Singapore Hospice Council executive director Sim Bee Hia said the money raised would go towards efforts such as training healthcare workers, public education and community engagement. She also noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had posed challenges to fund raising in the past two years.

“As Singapore’s population ages, it is important for us to get our work done and get more and more people to be educated in palliative care,” said Ms Sim.

Ms Deborah Chen, community partnership manager at the Singapore Association for Mental Health, said the funds raised would support new preventive mental health projects for the community.

SingHealth deputy group chief communications officer Jennifer Wee said a “strong sense of purpose” drove staff to contribute, even amid the pandemic challenges the healthcare sector had to deal with.

Activities such as the trekking and cycling were planned in such a way that staff were able to take part in them at times that they found most convenient, said Ms Wee, who chaired the healthcare group’s President’s Challenge efforts this year.

In a Facebook post, Madam Halimah noted that SingHealth has been a strong supporter of the President’s Challenge.

“Every year, healthcare workers from across the SingHealth cluster come up with innovative ways to raise funds to help communities in need,” she said.

The President’s Challenge is a national movement started in 2000 to rally Singaporeans to help the disadvantaged.

This year’s initiative, which kicked off in February, focuses on supporting lower-income families, which have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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